PLOT - The notorious serial killer John Kramer (Tobin Bell) aka Jigsaw died a decade ago, but dead bodies are popping up around the city in a style that is completely his. Police think a copycat killer is on the loose, but they become extremely concerned when Kramer's DNA is showing up on the bodies. Could Kramer still be alive?
LIKE- Okay, confession time. I'm a huge fan of the Saw franchise. I was so excited when I heard about Jigsaw. I even rooted around in my cupboard to find my Saw coffee mug from Thorpe Park. I have no illusions that all of the films in the Saw franchise are actually good movies. They're not. They are a tiny cut above a B movie. But I loved the first one and I love the sick, twisted creativity of the traps. I love John Kramer as a villain with a rigid moral code. He has a great backstory motivating him. I was going to see Jigsaw no matter what.
Dan isn't a horror film fan and the movie wasn't playing at our local cinema. I had to wait until I went down the mountain to pick Dan up from a business trip in Orange County. The free night I had to see it, while he attended an important business meeting, happened to be on our 4th wedding anniversary. I told the woman this at the ticket counter and she gave me a discount. Nice!
Jigsaw is a problematic film. However, let me focus on the positives first.
Jigsaw had some twists that I didn't see coming. I don't think they were great twists and Jigsaw doesn't have a stellar script, but they were nevertheless, unexpected. My favorite twist happens with the final two survivors of the trap. As with every Saw film, it's very important for the players of the game to listen carefully to Jigsaw's rules!
The traps were inventive and twisted. I don't think these were the best traps of the franchise. In fact, they were a little stale, but they still had me cringing with delight in my theater seat.
DISLIKE- My biggest issue with Jigsaw, is that I question the need for it having been made. The series had supposedly ended seven years ago and Jigsaw doesn't add anything new to the franchise. It doesn't really take the story in a new direction and it's not much of a reboot with regard to keeping the franchise alive. If they are attempting to take it in a new direction, it's a weak start.
Point blank, the story is silly. Above average silly for the franchise.
***SPOILER ALERT*** - There is a strange red-herring character named Eleanor (Hannah Emily Anderson) who works for the coroner's office. Eleanor is obsessed with Jigsaw, to the point where she is making her own model traps in her spare time, ideas she gets from trolling Jigsaw fan sites. Eleanor isn't believable as a character. Not that this is a realistic story by any stretch, just I didn't buy into Eleanor's character at all. She was an odd addition, used to distract from the primary storyline and her character didn't provide any story pay-off. To this end, I also had a problem with the characters stuck in the trap. They didn't have as strong of a backstory as the trap characters have had in previous films. I felt nothing for them, zero connection.
RECOMMEND- Meh. If you're not already a fan of the Saw franchise, then definitely skip Jigsaw. If you're a fan, you'll probably see it. If I'm being honest, I will definitely see any future films in the franchise, even if Jigsaw was a disappointment.